Raft Upgrade - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-04-2009   #1
Bayfield, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 4
Raft Upgrade

I have a question: I just bought an older "bucket" raft - 14.5 foot Achilles and I am interested in getting it turned into a self-bailing boat and I heard Jack's in Aztec, NM can do it. The boat is in relatively good shape w/ a well-fitted frame. Is it worth spending some $$$ to get this done (if possible)? I got a great deal on the raft and don't mind spending some $$$ on it if it is worth it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 05-04-2009   #2
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 213
It depends on what you will be using the raft for. I cannot speak for Jack's shop but putting in a self-bailing floor is a lot of work/$$.

The main advantage to a self-bailing floor is that if/when you go through rapids your boat will remain lighter because water will drain on its own (instead of you having to bail it out).

If you are going to be taking the boat down rapids (class III and more) I would personally would suggest lookin into the self-bailing floor. If it is going to be more of a fishing/Upper CO boat then maybe not??
There is always a reason not to...
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Old 05-04-2009   #3
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 33
Hey I just bought a Hyside with a SB conversion and with a Jack's floor, here's it is...

Its on its way and should be here by Wednesday, I will have to lace the floor in and attach the thwarts, but once I get her on the water I will let you know how it is. From what they told me and my research, it took a lot of work to do the conversion, but it works pretty well and they gave be a good deal.
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Old 05-04-2009   #4
Bayfield, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 4

Thanks for the info. My wife used to be a river guide but has been out of it for a while and I'm a newbie, so this year we'll probably be hitting no more than class III - e.g. Shoshone, lower San Juan, upper San Juan, Pumphouse to State Bridge. I've heard that it'll be fine for the time being. Great pic of the work on the raft - what is the $ ballpark range for the floor installation?
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Old 05-07-2009   #5
Coudersport, Pennsylvania
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3
Targos 2, Congrats on the new purchase. I had been looking online at that exact raft for "months" because of the floor conversion. I hope you post a follow up review after getting it out on the water, as I am still debating the merits of either purchasing a Self Bailer or getting a good, 'used', standard floor and doing the conversion. Specifically I'm wondering how heavy the boat is, how fast it drains and how it handles? I've dealt with theboatpeople in the past and they were always a pleasure to work with. Hope the boat is everything that you hoped for!
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